Jun 27, 2012

Cooking Up Laughter in the Kitchen
The Dunnville Community Theatre once again proved that good things come in small packages with their recent presentation of "The Kitchen Witches", a comedy by Carolyn Smith. Produced by Linda Young and directed by Scribbles pal Nancy Erskine, "The Kitchen Witches" tells the sorted story of two rival TV chefs, Dolly Biddle (played by Judy Wenjina) and Isobel Lomax (as played by Diane Morris). Dolly and Isobel both failed miserably with their individual cable TV cooking shows, but when the two butt heads during Dolly's final episode of "Baking with Babcha", the station's switchboard lights up with viewers and the station's owner wanting to see more of the sparring duo.

Dolly's son and program producer Stephen (brilliantly portrayed by Brandon Morris) suggests the rivals work together in a new cooking program called "The Kitchen Witches" which soon finds Dolly and Isobel in a battle to one-up the other by any means possible including sabotaging recipes, wardrobe mishaps, endless zings at each other and a shocking revolation from Isobel....Stephen is actually her son.

The play takes a dramatic turn in act two, when Dolly takes ill, Isobel attempts to patch up her relationship with Stephan and the chefs mend fences.

Housed on the second floor of the Dunnville Optimist Hall, the Dunnville Community Theatre group brought laughter and compassion to the characters of "The Kitchen Witches" and although they competed with Nick Walenda's walk over Niagara Falls and folks preparing to enjoy their Summer, the six performances still managed respectable audiences.

Scribbles received two complimentary tickets from DCT as a thank you for promoting the play which I attended with "sister Jane" (our third DCT production in a row). About the only thing I may have done differently would perhaps be to have piped in some background music during set changes, when the stage went dark and the theatre was eeriely silent.

Very Front and Centre!
There's something about being in the audience during a small community theatre production that can often make you feel like you are a part of the show.  During the Dunnville Community Theatre's June 21st presentation of "The Kitchen Witches", that feeling took on a whole new dimension for me when I was called up on stage as the Special Guest Judge for a dessert cook-off between characters Dolly and Isobel.

I tip my hat to our pal Nancy Erskine for remaining mum about my impromptu stage call. The dueling chefs had two minutes to whip up their best desserts at their cooking stations while I sat at a table centre stage, wearing a brilliant yellow rain poncho to keep me from getting covered in the sticky ingredients the gals tossed at each other.

When the eternally long two minutes were up, Dolly and Isobel each brought two desserts to my table and then proceeded to spoon feed them to me. Wearing more than I actually consumed, I then had to pick my favourite (Dolly's Twinkie crumble was my choice... to which she exclaimed "Scribbles likes my dibbles")  With my bright red face in stark contrast to the yellow rain gear the girls then took off me, I was given a handful of baby wipes to remove the whipped cream and chocolate syrup out of my goatee and a comp ticket to the theatre's next production, as I exited the stage to applause and laughter.

Was I surprised?  Absolutely!  Was I embarassed?  You better believe it!  Did I laugh my ass off on stage? I hadn't laughed like that in ages!  Would I be willing to do it again?  In a New York minute!

Scribbles Rating for The Kitchen Witches: